Disclosure. I do not go looking for anything Eve Ensler. Ever. But there it was, in the Delta in flight magazine, a blurb about her courageous new initiative.
I know I am 110% a cynic. I am cynical about almost everything. I like to think I am cynical in a good way. That is the nature of the overtly cynical. I am cynical about claims of circling the drain in equal fashion to being cynical about claims of new mass movements of revival; revival of anything….religion, longevity, traditionalism, patriotism, intelligence and insight, learning and education, whatever.
Why am I cynical? Because I have lived 50 years, and read about the history of an order of magnitude more years. Those revolutions that did occur were (oy, to use the word) “organic” and not things that would have made the leads of popular media outlets. They were revolutions after they were nearly done.
For the rest, we have pictures of celebrities in magazines and in the list of their achievement, the inclusion of the nebulous emotional trigger word….advocate. A thrown away word broken free of its tangible connotations and set to mean something vapid about someones willingness to say openly “I believe X is wrong”…..that is advocacy.
Comes Ensler with One Billion Rising to help me riff my cynicism du jour. Some may rightly be aggravated by the specifics of her misandric nonsense. I’m stuck in a more basic place, annoyed by the silliness of it all. If it were relegated to the musings of Ensler and thousands of wide eyes utopians, Id say saw horse off the streets and let’em at it. But people take this shit seriously.
Here is some money quotes:
Engaged masses on a deeper, more embodied level through dancing, poetry, singing, and art.
Created solidarity and safe and free space, through our creativity and numbers, for violated women to tell their stories, many for the first time, and heal their trauma by dancing in public, communal open spaces.
Generated the best collection of worldwide dance videos ever!
Never mind a soldier. Never mind a rescuer. Never mind a child with cancer. We have millions of women dancing in the streets! To what end?
Awareness raising. Huh? I have never understood the concept when its in the absence of changing peoples minds. One could categorize what we do in the sphere as awareness raising. Because it is. But raising awareness about men’s issues requires the bold and heavily blown back task of convincing people that there even is are men’s issues. There is no analogy between that and awareness raising about violence against women.
Her advocacy is pandering and raw power grabbing. It is of course inclusive so as to reach more women in the west, meaning verbal and emotional violence, paycheck violence, TV remote control violence, and the horrible violence of unwanted male attention in the form of compliments. The women in the west need some of that empathy generated by the dancing women in the third world who bear real scars of mutilation. That is what this is about, being able to sit, brow furrowed, and be interviewed on MSNBC.
Its shameless. Its pathetic.
She sums up her accomplishments as follows:
Made violence against women impossible to ignore and never to be marginalized again. Reminded the world that women united will never be defeated.
After Ensler puts her accomplishment in context by telling us when the last time violence against women was marginalized by her target audience, the maw of empathy craving western sisters, then please, lets have OBSTHD…..”One Billion Sit The Hell Back Down”. I will get behind it.